Placenta Previa: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


If you suffer from placenta previa, you must also know the causes and treatment options available to you. Read on for more trivia on the symptoms causes and treatment for placenta previa.

The placenta is the organ that nourishes and protects the foetus in utero. It acts as a filter, weeding out what the foetus needs and retaining the required oxygen and essential nutrients. The placenta is generally attached to the side or top of the uterus and implants itself in the lower part of the uterus, while a part of it covers the cervix, a condition better known as placenta previa.

Placenta previa causes severe bleeding of the pregnant woman during her pregnancy and delivery. If the placenta previa is not cured during the pregnancy, a pregnant woman might require to undergo a C-section to deliver her baby.

Read More: Home Remedies for Bleeding during Pregnancy

Causes of Placenta Previa

For several reasons, the placenta is located in the lower part of the uterus. It could either cover the cervical outlet or be found adjacent to it. As a woman’s pregnancy advances, the placenta  moves away from cervical opening. This makes it very common for women to experience placenta previa in the early stages of pregnancy. It has been found that up to six percent of women between week 10 and 20 of pregnancy usually have some level of placenta previa, yet 90% of these cases are cured by themselves as the pregnancy advances.

Symptoms of Placenta Previa

The symptoms of placenta previa are as follows:


A pregnant woman experiences painless vaginal bleeding during the latter part of her pregnancy. She may also have contractions. Many women find that as their pregnancies advance, this problem is sorted out on its own. However, with the uterus growing, the distance between the placenta and cervix might increase. If the placenta covers the cervix and hooks itself over the cervix, the chances of the problem of placenta previa resolving itself are very low.

Placenta previa

Usually, placenta previa is diagnosed during an ultrasound done in the second trimester.However, there are times when it is seen in the third trimester with these symptoms:


With the uterus growing in the third trimester, the link between the uterus and placenta could be The changing shape of your uterus during the third trimester can weakened, leading to bleeding in the area.


Though pain is not normally felt, some women do go through cramping.

Breech position

If a woman is diagnosed with placenta previa, the baby could well be in a breech position.


Treatment for Placenta Previa

Surgically and medically, there isn’t any treatment available to cure placenta previa. However, options to manage the bleeding are available. Managing the bleeding depends on: your overall health, your baby’s health, the amount of bleeding you have, whether the bleeding continues or has stopped and how far away your pregnancy is. Much also depends on the position of the baby and the placenta.

If you aren’t cured of this problem during your pregnancy, the doctor will try to come as close to your due date as possible. Generally, women who suffer from this problem need to undergo a C-section.

Treatment for women with minimal or no bleeding

Rest during this period and avoid physical activity that can set off bleeding, such as exercise and sex. Opt for medical care at a hospital if you bleed.

Treatment for women with heavy bleeding

If you’re bleeding heavily, reach a nearby emergency health facility. You could need a blood transfusion. Your doctor will ask you to undergo a C-section when the baby is born safely, usually after week 36. If the bleeding continues, you could have an early delivery. If you deliver within the first 37 weeks, your doctor could advise corticosteroids for your baby’s pulmonary development.

Treatment for women with non-stop bleeding

For uncontrollable bleeding, an emergency C-section may be advised, despite the baby being premature.


Though there’s no definite way of preventing placenta previa, once you’re diagnosed with it and are in your third trimester, your doctor may recommend some measures for a safe pregnancy and childbirth. These are:


Pelvic rest

Stay away from sex and don’t use tampons, vaginal douches, etc.

Fetal monitoring

Your doctor may set up a schedule to monitor your baby’s heartbeat to ensure his movements are normal and his heartbeat strong.

Hospital care

You could remain in hospital till your delivery, particularly if you have had bleeding so that monitoring you and your baby are easy.

When you are excited about having a baby, hearing that you have placenta previa can be both disappointing and shocking. However, the good news is that you can avail of help from support groups and have an easier time while suffering from placenta previa.

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